California citrus growers who plan to remove trees due to the drought can apply for Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) funding to help offset the cost of removal.

The deadline to apply is June 20.

NRCS' program is called the California Air Quality Chipping Initiative.

The funds can provide financial assistance to producers for the chipping of woody debris from removed orchards or vineyards no longer irrigated due to severe drought. 

Socially disadvantaged-minority farmers and beginning farmers (10 years or less) can qualify for up to $265 per acre if the product is left in the field and $231.71 per acre if the product is hauled to a biomass facility.

All others can qualify for up to $177.16 per acre if the product is left in the field, and $154.47 per acre if the product is hauled to a biomass facility. 

The producer must provide evidence that tree removal is tied to drought conditions. Trees must be in the ground at time of application, and cannot be removed until the funding is awarded.

Growers must apply to their local county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Those not already registered with the FSA will need to bring a voided check for identification purposes.

Fore more information, contact your local FSA office.

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